Interview with Mark Knight: DJ, Producer, Label Owner

When did you start DJ-ing?

Probably the same way a lot of people did: played a few records on a friend of mine’s decks and just got hooked. I never really thought it was something you could do for a living at that stage though; I just liked the thought of being in control of what people listened to!

Tell us about your most memorable gig or tour?

2018 was Toolroom’s 15th anniversary and one of the things we did to celebrate was a world tour. We did our first party at Studio 338, London, which was completely packed from midday to the early hours the next day on a beautiful summer’s day. That was one of the highlights of the tour and one of the reasons we landed a residency there this year. Also the Halloween Homecoming Street Party at The Source, Maidstone. This was an extra date we added onto the end of the anniversary tour in our hometown and a special way to wrap up an amazing few months.

Who has musically inspired/influenced you the most?

One of the first parties I was a regular at was the Garage City ones at Bar Rhumba. This would have been from about 1993 I think, and it was actually the place I played my first ever DJ set in public. This is where my love of soulful house was first formed; it was a really special time and one that definitely shaped the rest of my career. In terms of a single record, that’s hard to identify, there were so many! But definitely the stuff coming out of the US: MK, Masters At Work, Todd Terry – records with soul that worked so well on a dance floor. I’d never heard anything like it, and they’re still records that stand the test of time to this day.

How do you define your style when performing?

Describing your own sound is one of the hardest things to do as a producer or DJ: I’d rather just create something and have other people tell me how it feels, or what it sounds like. If you can break music down to a few words or sentences, it’s not doing its job! With DJing, my favourite sets are extended ones where I can really more through all the styles of music I love – from disco, soulful house, tech house up to techno.

What is best thing of being a famous DJ?

Getting to do what I love for a living, simple!

How many records have you produced and do you have any plan to release a new record in the near future?

I’ve produced hundreds of records, and yes of course there’s a lot more music planned. I have a remix of Booka Shade’s classic Trespass, which is out now as Toolroom Trax’s 100th release, a remix of Dido coming out next month, and an original on our This Is Toolroom 2019 album.

Do you also produce other thing beside music?

I can whip up a decent dinner when I need to.

If you could choose one artist to collaborate in your music, who would that be and why?

Oh wow, so many people. Sade, U2, Louie Vega, Eddie F, Teddy Riley – maybe one day I’ll bring them together in an album! I’d enjoy that challenge.